Bike hard to start when hot - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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Bike hard to start when hot

I hate to be the guy with one post who asks a question or for help but I have to do it. I have been reading this forum almost everyday for close to year but just never created an account. I'm in a bind and need some advice. Sorry if the post is long. At the end of January I bought a new 2012 Vulcan Voyager. I love the bike but have been having some issuses that nobody can figure out. Basically when the bike is hot it will not restart or starts with a sporadiac idle and stalls. I was convinced it was an intake leak but no longer believe so. The dealer has replaced the throttle body with no change. The kawi rep disassembled the TB and used new seals and gasket sealer (plus intakes also) with no change. They have messed with California emissions with no luck. There are no stored codes. The bike will consistenly run well into the red zone and past with one instance of bubbling in coolant resivior. All of this appears tied to the heat (hotter out/longer run worse starting condition). I live in Vegas and will ride when it is 100 plus degress out. I have been dealing with the Kawi rep during the last 3 repair attempts. He is completly stumped. I love the bike but am losing faith in it. Is this a common problem? Did I get a Monday morning bike? The bike is all stock with about 4500 miles. Has done it since 400 miles (first warm day). Help!
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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 12:56 AM
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Man don't sweet it, that's what this forum is for. No, it is not a common problem.
First of all I assume the dealer has checked out the brain box to make sure it's good.
What does your engine idle at? One thing that they won't recommend is changing the fuel to air ratio (or how much fuel the engine runs on). From what you have said that they have done so far, I would think it's running to lean. That would explain engine running hot and not wanting to start.

Keep us informed as many of us would like to hear the resolve of your problem.

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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
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They have not checked the computer, but he did mention that could be next on the list. He also talked about possibly relocating the temperature sensor. I am torn on the power commander. For different reasons (cheap being one) I usually don't mess with anything I buy. My truck/trailer etc stay stock. I know not the normal motorcycle guy. My feeling is the bike should drive fine the way it is made although I am starting to believe I am wrong (and not just Kawi). The main reason for asking the original question is I have been presented several options which include replacing the bike or just turning it back in. I am reluctant to get a replacement bike (although I do love the bike) if the next one is going to do the same. Thanks for the quick reply
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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 05:51 AM
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I have had mine 15 months and 22000 miles and never had a problem like yours. Make them fix it !!!!!!!!

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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 07:01 AM
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Hi Fryzput
If they are willing to replace the bike I would go that route but first ask to take the replacement bike for a hot day trip to see if it acts up. I wouldn't think every bike will overheat/not start and you may in fact have a lemon on your hands. I also am not one to do major changes to my vehicles and believe they should perform as advertised. I am sure there are many other Vulcans like your model in LV not having your problems. Good luck with this and keep us posted.
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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 07:49 AM
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My bike is a little harder to start after its been ran for awhile. I have to hold in the button a little longer to get a successful start.

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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 08:15 AM
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Fyrzout...sorry to hear of your problem.

To me the technicians have not gone far enuff yet to find the source and cause of your problem. I heartily recommend do not spend money on a PCV or any other tuning device as they will not fix the problem.

We have to remember you have a stock bike that has had a heat related problem since it had 400 miles on it. When we buy our toasters, TV's, vehicles, etc, they are supposed to work as they are designed to. Put some bread into a toaster and have to push the button down 20 times to toast the bread? Have to push the TV on button 30 times to turn the TV on?

NO! Many possible scenarios here. Are any of the sensors failing to send the appropriate signal to the ECU? I have had sensors fail that DO NOT have the ECU sense the failure thus NOT illuminating the FI light. Is the ECU at fault here?

It is time for the tech to have at hand a multimeter to check resistances and voltage outputs of the sensors, have a spare ECU to pop in and try. At times we have to be parts replacers until we find the source of the problem.

I also suspect that maybe a more thorough inspection of the California emmissions which is a evaporative emmisions control system rather than "messing" with that system may help.

You scenario is not the norm and is not how that skoot should operate. We should NOT have anomollies that prevent us from the normal and expected operation of our toasters, TV's and vehicles.

GOOD LUCK but keep on Kawi to get your skoot fixed, they will be able to with the correct diagnosis.



Last edited by RACNRAY; 07-20-2013 at 08:17 AM.
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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 08:29 AM
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Are you burning 90 (+)fuel? I had the same symptom heading west a couple of weeks ago. I was far from home and was pretty concerned. I remembered the last stop only having regular. It took a couple of fill ups to get it back on it's feet. My bike always seems to be hot so I can't say if that compounds the problem. I hear some people using engine ice to keep things a little cooler.
I feel the same about being stock I figure Mr. Kaw. Knows more about what it needs more than I do. Good luck and ride safe.
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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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c law23 when your bike does start after extened crank does the idle settle right down or does it surge and die at times? Stock bike?

Several weeks ago I would have said I would never have touched another Kawi bike but they have stepped up to the plate and offered to make it right. For me customer service says alot about your product and company and they appear to want happy customers. I would just feel alot more comfortable if I knew mine was a lemon (which sounds kinda funny)
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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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RACNRAY I originally had to argue because "bikes are different than cars, you have to rev it some times etc." but they now admit there is a problem. The Kawi rep has offered to continue to work on the bike but he realizes I am running low on patience (5 repairs and 28 days in shop) and he has no solid leads. He has basically taken the dealer out of the loop (a good thing) and he is now the one working on the bike. My feeling is it is something simple as the bike runs great once you get going. My other concern is how much life I have shaved off the bike with it running lean, bucking at startup and running even hotter than I believe it should. Thanks for all the replies trying to help me get going in the right direction
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